New Orleans led by as many as 19 points in the second half Saturday, but a furious second-half comeback by the Trail Blazers resulted in a frenetic finish. The teams played to a 29-29 tie in the third quarter when the Pelicans led by as many as 23 points.
The Pelicans let a 19-point lead get reduced to one point in the final minutes and got the late stops needed for a 97-95 victory at Moda Center. We said there are going to be two rebounds that we have to have. "Same guy, nearly the exact same area and he came up with another block".
"I just think it's a group that really believes in themselves and believe in each other", said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry.
The main concern for the Blazers is how to limit Anthony Davis, who has been on a tear of late.
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And it didn't get much better. By the end of the first quarter Portland trailed, 21-18, and Lillard and McCollum were a combined 1-of-9 from the field while Evan Turner kept Portland afloat with nine first-half points.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray each scored 11 points for the Spurs, who were already playoff bound but went to the locker room after their loss in New Orleans knowing they'd be at best a seventh seed, and that's where they ended up. A fraction of that will keep the Blazers competitive against the Pelicans, but the Blazers will need to develop an inside presence to take on a large Pelicans team. The Pelicans posted a solid 47.7% clip from the field, and they were out-rebounded by a 52-49 margin. A McCollum 3-pointer capped an 18-4 Portland run that made the score 93-92 with nearly exactly a minute left. "We got to play better". The five-time All-Star led New Orleans with 35 points (on 14-for-26 shooting), 14 rebounds and four blocks in 40 minutes.
Davis and Holiday carried the Pelicans on offense, combining to score 32 points.
But the Blazers wouldn't go away and used a 17-5 run to close within 93-92 with 59.9 seconds left on a C.J. McCollum 3-pointer.
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New Orleans increased the margin to 69-50 on a Holiday layup midway through the third quarter. The game was well under the total of 216.
Lillard countered: "It's started now then".
"We want to come out and try to get one or maybe both here and go back home and try to get some wins there", says Davis.
Co-honors go to Davis and Holiday, with Davis securing his first National Basketball Association playoff win and Holiday continuing to demonstrate why he deserves first-team All-Defense recognition. Spurs vs Pelicans live stream is on NBA League Pass.
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Saina, who led the head-to-head count 3-1 before today's match, won 21-18 23-21 in the high-pressure match that lasted an hour. Sindhu on the other hand, struggled to match her compatriot although she gave a stiff fight in the second game.
Anthony Davis has already built an impressive resume as an National Basketball Association superstar at age 25, but the one glaring absence from his list of accomplishments is postseason success. "But now that's over with". The Warriors shed the disinterested, coasting skin they had worn for weeks and came out playing with the passion - and playing with the flair, having fun - we have come to expect from them.
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